Saturday, July 24, 2010

Committment to Online Music Education Standards

By Mark T. Burke

Many groups have produced standards for online learning that have served us well (Like the SREB and iNACOL). Standards provide indicators of quality within key organizational education and business practices.  I believe standards are the key to ensuring students are successful and help assure families, schools and communities spend their educational dollars wisely.

Ensuring quality online music education presents some interesting challenges.  We can certainly adopt the iNACOL standards within our school, but that only gets us so far. As a performance art, music requires a level of mentor-to-student interaction and guided practice well above most subjects. In addition, music can easily suffer from a lack of structure as it's easy to simply teach "in the moment." The technology to truly ensure quality interaction between students, the teacher, the school and a potential audience can add complexity like no other to the educational environment.

Teaching music online is a relatively new segment of education. Growing needs to ensure the field of music education adapts to the world around us means more music educators are looking for solutions.  Certainly, quality online music education is not found in one computer application alone. The answers lie in our goals for online music education, the purpose and the key program inclusions that will guide what software we use, how we use it, why we use it, when to use it, what quality content to include, how to build content and how we assess student progress (among others).

To move forward, I have started the "Online Music Teacher Collaborative" within the MusicPLN ( We already have 10+ members on our committee to start the Online Music Education Standards writing process. Our goal is to provide a framework for quality online music instruction that can serve as the basis for program development and integration.  Our goal is not to set the limits on what we can accomplish but rather to get the conversation going on how music education has evolved and must continue to evolve in order to ensure the continuance of our art.  Representatives on the committee include online educational leaders and teachers, development specialists, Elementary teachers, Jr. High and High School teachers as well as Higher Education instructors.

For more information, please post here and join the  This is just the beginning of what lies ahead.

viaAcademies is committed to providing quality online music instruction and the promotion of developing standards for online music instruction.  For more information on our programs, please visit us online at We are always seeking new partners, teachers and course developers to help expand our network.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to the opportunity to help shape this important endeavor!